Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jungle Fever... Jez's battle with Leptospirosis)

Amid all this build and excitement for Worlds Jez arrived back from and epic summer in America and expedition to Costa Rica with Falling Creek Camp. Full of stories of crazy adventures it was amazing to have him back to train with and hang out. He arrived tired still from his big adventure and we thought nothing of it until only a couple of days in he suddenly took a turn for he worst. He got sick, like really sick, fast. In just a couple of days he went from just feeling tired and low energy to hitting crazy fever, a massive headache, got super super tired and had crazy muscle aches. He felt sick, couldn't eat or drink and would constantly switch from cold sweat and shivering, to high temperatures and sweating with fevers on and off throughout the day and night. We tried to ride it out for a day or so before realising he needed help. With red eyes (almost heavy blood shot style) and struggling to breathe I drove him to Renfrew hospital where he was put straight on an IV drip and had a chest X-ray and loads of blood tests. It was a horrible experience as nobody knew what it was for sure.

Hitting up 2000ml of IV

As we were dealing with it we heard word that others from his Costa Rica trip were also sick. It became an International Challenge to get them fixed and figure out what this crazy bug was. Everything about the symptoms pointed to Dengue fever and a new bug called Chikungunya. However as we were all pre occupied by these crazy tropical diseases, luckily one of the doctors at the hospital read the signs differently and said I think it's Leptospirosis!!! As soon as the nurse mentioned it she was surprised to find I knew exactly what she was talking about. Paddling for many years in the UK on urban rivers we are very familiar with this horrible bacterial bug. It's comes from stagnant or flood waters polluted with animal facies. One of its tell tale signs being the red eyes as well as all the other symptoms. Unfortunately I have known several kayaker a who have contracted it over the years but didn't even think about it in this situation. Luckily even without the blood test results the doctor wanted to start Jez on Doxcyclin to treat it just in case. If caught early it's just a horrible illness. If left a long time it can become fatal or have long lasting side effects. Pumped with fluids and started on the antibiotics. We were sent home to ride out the fever some more in what Jez now calls 'the worst week of his life'. 5 days later on the way back to hospital once more after another horrible day the fever finally broke and Jez got to enjoy his first food in almost a week. And then feeling a tiny bit better celebrated his birthday out of bed (for an hour or so) and begin the road to recovery the following day. Now almost a week later we are super happy to say it was Leptospirosis. Jez and all the others who had been sick although super tired are now on the mend.

Training... sleeping hard between wave sessions

No matter where in the world you kayak, take care around dirty water. If you get sick after paddling let the doctors know to check you for Leptospiriosis (Weils disease).

Oh and is you ever have to take Doxyclin. Take it with something dairy and sitting up... and Good luck